17 ROSE WEDNESDAY: CHAMPAGNE GOSSET GRAND ROSE.
Gosset has been making red wines in Champagne, in Ay, since before Champagne’s bubbles were gotten under control. In 1584 Pierre Gosset made slightly sparkling red wines from his Pinot Noir vineyards in Ay. Ay is unusual in that, situated between the Montagne de Reims and the Cote des Blancs, it is a vineyard commune in Champagne where both Grand Cru Pinot and Chardonnay vines are grown.
Today the Gosset family’s original properties remain intact and have grown. Owned now by the Cointreau family, Champagne Gosset takes pride of place as the oldest family-owned Champagne house in continual existence.
As from the start Gosset’s vines in Ay produce on their chalky soil Champagnes of delicate but pronounced minerality which melds into the floral, almost rose flavored Pinot juice to produce Rose Champagnes of complexity and brilliant color which is brightened by the chalky soil. The Grand Rose Brut Champagne is one which should be sought in the market. While the Cointreau family has increased the vineyard holdings of Champagne Gossset and do plant the three currently acceptable vines, Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir, this Rose is composed of 55% Chardonnay and 45% Pinot Noir. Of the Pinot some 11% is from Pinot grapes vinified on the skins to offer the final assemblage a brilliant pink-orange color. Because Gosset remains one of the few Champagne houses that does not allow malolactic fermentation in order to enhance less fruity characteristics and underline their Champagnes’ formal style. The resulting Grand Rose is a truly regal Rose Champagne, one certainly the flamboyant Sun-King, Bourbon Louis XIV enjoyed. Let your eyes enjoy it first as the color is sun-like and with the small persistent bubbles is joy in a glass. Be kingly-daring and use a wide old-fashioned coupe to perceive its color and tiny bubbles. The aromas of roses and oranges is one to dream of when the bottle is finished.
Did you know Julius Caesar’s vineyardists brought from the Allobrogians many vines they planted it in Champagne, among them an almost mythical one soon they called Rose Champagne? Read about this in my novel, The Nght Julius Caesar Invented Champagne. www.madeleinedeJean.com; Amazon.com.